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Not a single demand made by states has been met: Amit Mitra

Not a single demand made by states has been met: Amit Mitra

Kolkata: State Finance minister Amit Mitra reacted sharply to Union Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman's economic package for migrant labourers, farmers and the urban poor, and tweeted that the federal polity of India was being strategically undermined. He also said that the Centre is neither paying states' dues nor allowing them the headroom to borrow more.

His tweet on Friday read: "GoI blind to collapsing Finances of States, strategically undermining Federalist Polity of India. No payment of past dues, no Grant to States to fight COVID, no headroom to borrow more, no payment of GST compensation. People are crying & States are hearing only hollow words."

The state government has not received dues worth Rs 52,000 crore from the Centre yet.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had slammed the Centre along similar lines a few days ago and regretted that in all the meetings with Prime Minister Narendra Modi this important issue had been raised but it failed to yield results.

While giving the break-up of the dues worth Rs 52,000 crore, it was learnt that the outstanding from the Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS) on March 31 was a staggering Rs 36,000 crore. The GST compensation would be around Rs 2,393 crore while the pending amount for food subsidy for 2018-19 and 2019-2020 would be around Rs 3,579 crore. Moreover, the state has received less devolution in 2019-20 to the tune of Rs 11,000 crore.

To combat the COVID-19 pandemic, the state government had spent a huge amount to pay additional ration to the people and on health infrastructure. As a result, the coffer of the state government is nearly exhausted. The tax collection from various sectors has stopped. On top of that, the state government has to repay a loan to the tune of Rs 55,000 crore.

The salaries of the employees, teachers and pensioners have to be paid on time and the financial allotment for the ongoing projects like Kanyashree, Khadya Sathi cannot be curtailed.

Incidentally, the Chief Minister had raised these issues over and over again and also put forth the poor financial health of the state. On one hand, the state's exchequer is empty and on the other, all the avenues to collect taxes have dried up. Banerjee has also criticised the financial schemes taken up by the Centre and announced by the Union Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman as " a big zero" as there is nothing concrete in the proposals of the Union government.

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